According to a new study published in the journal Social sciences and medicine, avid readers tend to to live longer than those who completely transmit the written word. After surveying 3,635 people aged 60 and over about their health, researchers at the Yale University School of Public Health found that questions about reading habits provided surprising results.
The researchers divided the respondents into three groups. There were those who read a maximum of three and a half hours a week, those who read more, and those who did not bother to read at all. By separating out other variables such as age, gender, education, and income, analysts were able to isolate reading as a factor that may increase lifespan.
But by how much exactly? The study found that participants who read more than three and a half hours a week were 23% less likely to die than their non-reading counterparts. In other words, avid readers lived up to two years longer than non-readers, and these benefits only improved with increasing time spent reading. While books are the gold standard for improving your years on Earth, researchers have found that magazines and newspapers also help people.
And as everyone knows, learning from different perspectives can broaden your intellectual reach, making your life not only broader but also richer. So whether it’s a light read on the beach or a dissertation on quantum theory, grab it and get to work. Your life could depend on it.